The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the smallest bird in Missouri! The reason they are called Ruby-throated hummingbirds is because the males have a ruby color under their throat, the females are a emerald-green on top of their body and white under bellied with a black tale with white tips. The male are the same but they they have a ruby throat.
They hummingbirds length is 3 inches weighs 1/8 ounces. They can beat their wings 75 times per second and can fly up to 60 mph. The hummingbirds rapid wingbeat enables it to move forward,backward,upward and downward as it hovers in a vertical position and maneuvers from flower to flower to feed on nectar. The females make a buzz sound while hovering and flying, the males have a higher-pitch chirps and squeals.
Where to Find Them
In Summer, ruby-throated hummingbirds breed throughout the eastern half of the U.S. And Canada. In Missouri, the breeding habitat of ruby-throated hummingbirds is mixed woodland edges, gardens and orchards. They commonly nest along steams and lake shores.
Ruby-throats that winter on the east coast of Central America are believed to fly north nonstop arcross the Gulf od Mexico,a 500-mile journey that can reduce the birds body weight by half. Some ruby-throated hummingbirds arrive in Missouri from mid-to late April but most arrive in May.
Male and female hummingbirds do not form a pair bond, males and females remain together only for courtship and mating. When a female enters a males territory a male ruby-throat will begin a “dive display”: a U-shaped looping flight, starting at as high as 12 to 15 feet above the female.
You rarely see other kinds of hummingbirds in missouri it is mostly Ruby-throated hummingbirds.
Honey-water is often recommended because it has a higher nutrient content than sugar water. There are great dangers in using honey,however,if the solution is not boiled and the feeder not cleaned each tim before filling, a fungus that will attack the birds tongue can grow in the mix. So always use sugar water but organic sugar dont use brown sugar either. Never use artifical sweetners in hummingbird feeders.
Enjoy the hummers of summers while you can!